Judge mulls sentence in New Lenox Township murder
By Frank Vaisvilas Correspondent April 1, 2014 5:16PM
Rodney Julun / photo from Will County Sheriff's police
Updated: May 3, 2014 6:37AM
JOLIET — A Will County judge on Tuesday said he needs time to consider what the sentence should be for a Chicago man convicted of beating a New Lenox Township man to death.
Rodney Julun, 25, of Chicago was found guilty of first-degree murder by a Will County jury Jan. 14.
He was convicted of robbing and beating Dwight Jones, 59, to death with a brass lamp at his home on June 10, 2011.
Julun claims that Jones had approached him earlier in the day with a promise to make money and lured him into his home but had hidden homosexual tendencies. He claims he beat Jones in self-defense after Jones raped him.
“For all of you to say I’m a bad person, shame on you,” Julun told prosecutors Tuesday. “He provoked me to get to this point and that’s the reason that man is dead.”
Judge Daniel Rozak also heard testimony from several of Julun’s family members who said Julun never displayed any violent tendencies and deserves a second chance.
“He’s not a monster,” said Julun’s older sister. “He’s a good kid.”
Rozak also heard from Jones’ cousin who feared Julun would commit murder again if released into society.
“If this had not been discovered, who would be next?” she said.
Before the testimonies, Rozak denied Julun’s attorneys’ motion for a new trial based on several claims, including that Julun’s testimony to police was forced.
Rozak said all of the attorneys’ claims were already argued during the trial.
“I don’t think there’s much I can say now I didn’t say then,” Rozak said.
Prosecutors previously called Julun’s claim of self-defense false and stated that Julun was motivated only by financial gain.
Julun faces 20 to 60 years in prison. Rozak said he’ll return with his sentence April 25.